AKC Seminar: Modern genomes, ancient genomes, and reconstructing extinct species

August Krogh Club Seminar

Professor of Palaeogenomics Tom Gilbert

Coordinator - EUROTAST, a Marie Curie Actions Research Training Network Centre for GeoGenetics and Lundbeck Foundation Pathogen Palaeogenomics Group, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen.


Recent technical developments have considerably simplified the sequencing of complete genomes, and we are rapidly approaching the time when even small teams will be able to use the genomes of their organism of choice in their research. In theory, such analyses are not limited to DNA recovered from living organisms, but could even be applied to extinct species.

In parallel with these advances in genomics, there is a growing interest among both amateur and professional scientists in ‘de-extinction’ - the resurrection of extinct species - a discipline in which sequencing of extinct genomes plays a fundamental role. In this talk I use examples of recent studies on modern and ancient genomes, to highlight what can be inferred from such data in the evolutionary context. Subsequently I discuss what role the challenges of genome sequencing has on defining the limits of de-extinction.

Key publications for the talk

A paleogenomic perspective on evolution and gene function: new insights from ancient DNA.
Shapiro B, Hofreiter M.

Research profile

My research is placed at the interface of emerging sequencing techniques with applied questions within evolutionary and conservation biology, anthropology and archaeology. In this regard, I have been active in developing DNA and protein based tools with which to generate and exploit genomic-level information from both modern and ancient specimens, and utilising them to look at questions as varied as the origin and evolution of birds, the taxonomy and methods of speciation in organisms such as giant squid and killer whales, the genetic background of the first Native Americans and Greenlanders, how potato blight has evolved since it first emerged as a major human crop pathogen, whether early farmers actually knew what they were doing, and what makes pigeons such great animals.


31 October 2014

14:00-15:00: Seminar and discussion
15:00-15:30: Post seminar servings and socializing


Auditorium 1, August Krogh Building, Universitetsparken 13, DK-2100 Copenhagen


Participation is free, but please register here.

For PhD students

PhD students participating in August Krogh seminars receive 0,2 ECTS per seminar


Christian Frøsig, CFrosig@nexs.ku.dk, mobile +45 2875 1617

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